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Saturday News, June 30th

Body Recovered in Little Sioux River Drowning

(Storm Lake) -- The body of Lithavongsay Nouthhavkoun of Storm Lake was recovered in the Little Sioux River at about 4:30 Friday afternoon.  The drowning victim was recovered about 500 yards downstream from where he was last seen on Wednesday.  Search crews have been on the Little Sioux since Wednesday afternoon when friends reported that Nouthavykoun had went under water and could not be found.  Rescue efforts have been ongoing by the Buena Vista County sheriff's office and the Iowa D-N-R.  Nouthavykoun has been taken to the Iowa Medical Examiners office in Ankeny for an autopsy to be performed next week.  Assisting the sheriff's office was the Iowa D-N-R and Buena Vista County Medical Examiner's Office.

 

Motorcycle Accident Near Akron

(Akron) -- A 19 year old Ireton man was involved in motorcycle accident Thursday afternoon.  Marcos Lopez was riding his motorcycle on Highway 3 and county road K-22 near Akron at about 3 p.m. when Lopez lost control of his motorcycle and entered the ditch.  The accident report indicates the motorcycle continued for 327 feet and flipped several times before coming to a rest.  Witnesses to the accident say it appeared the front tire of the motorcycle began to wobble which caused Lopez to lose control.  Lopez was airlifted to the Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.  He is listed as serious condition.

 

Fire Department Conducts Fund Raising Campaign

(Le Mars) -- Check your mailbox and you may see a letter from the Le Mars Fire Department.  This time of year the Le Mars Fire Department asks the public for donations to help with the purchase of equipment, as well as to help finance the training of  fire personnel.  Fire chief Dave Schipper says they hope to raise at least $16,000 this year.
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Schipper says other than the pancake feed in October, this is the only fund raising activity for the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department.

Fire Department Adds Assistant Chief Position

(Le Mars) -- Starting Monday, the Le Mars Fire Department will have an assistant fire chief position.  Dave Schipper says the newly created position will be occupied by Michael Wise.  Wise has been a fire fighter for more than 20 years with the Omaha and Red Oak fire departments, and according to Schipper, he has extensive experience.

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Wise will be a full-time paid fire official, and will be an added benefit for fires and rescues especially during the day shifts.

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Grassley To Visit Akron

(Washington) -- Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has announced he will be visiting several communities in northwest Iowa.  Grassley is scheduled to be at the Akron Fire Department on Monday, July 2nd at 3:45 p.m.  Grassley will visit with the public regarding issues of interest.  The public is invited to attend.

 

Veterans and Military Parade To Be Held in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Thousands of people are expected to march and ride through downtown Des Moines in a parade that honors veterans and current members of the armed services.
     Gov. Terry Branstad's office organized the parade, which will begin at the state Capitol with a flyover of F-16 jet fighters at 10 a.m. Saturday.
     The Des Moines Register reports  that more than 100 units, floats and bands as well as 2,000 or more marchers are expected to join the roughly hour-long parade.
     It will head west from the Capitol, cross the Des Moines River and then end at Veterans Memorial Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center.
     Branstad, who served in the Army from 1969 to 1971, plans to march in the parade, wearing his old uniform.

Lottery Kicks Off "Mystery Millionaire" Campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Lottery will give away $2 million in prize money that's been sitting around since two big jackpots weren't claimed last year.
     The "Mystery Millionaire" promotion begins Sunday. Players who buy a $5 ticket pack can sign up on the lottery's web site for a chance to win prizes ranging from $10,000 to the grand prize of $1
million, which will be awarded at the Iowa State Fair.
     The promotion will use Iowa's share of an unpaid $14.3 million Hot Lotto jackpot won with a ticket purchased in Des Moines and a $77 million Powerball jackpot.
     The Hot Lotto jackpot generated headlines because a lawyer stepped forward hours before the deadline with the winning ticket, but wasn't paid after he refused to explain how he ended up with
it.

 

Iowan Killed in Afghanistan

  EMERSON, Iowa (AP) - Military officials say an Iowan is among two U.S Army soldiers killed in an attack in Afghanistan.
     The Defense Department says 25-year-old Sergeant James Skalberg Junior died on Wednesday when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan's Wardak province.
     Officials say 24-year-old 1st Lieutenant Stephen Prasnicki of Lexington, Virginia also died in the attack.
     Skalberg graduated from Nishna Valley High School in 2005 and attended Peru State College in Nebraska. He joined the Army in 2007.
     His wife, Jessica, told the Omaha World-Herald that he was a "loving, good-hearted man."
     Skalberg is survived by his wife and son, Carter, of Red Oak Iowa; his parents and a sister, all of Cullman, Alabama; and other relatives.

 

Ethanol Industry Sees Slim Profit Margins

 WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - High corns prices and less consumer demand for gasoline have ethanol plants across the Midwest cutting back production.
     More than 95 percent of the nation's ethanol plants use corn as their feedstock. Analysts say corn prices have been skyrocketing because of fears triple-digit temperatures and drought in the
middle of the country will destroy, or greatly reduce, this year's crop.
     Meanwhile, the country has an ethanol glut. People are not driving as much given the poor economy and the high gasoline prices. Ethanol is primarily used in gasoline blends.
     Valero Energy operates 10 ethanol plants. It is temporarily idling one in Nebraska and another in Indiana because it costs more to make ethanol.

 

Corn Acreage On the Increase

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers planted 96.4 million acres of corn this spring, up 5 percent from last year.
     It's the largest number of planted acres since 97 million in 1937. The revised estimate, based on early June farm surveys, is up from May's estimate of nearly 92 million acres.
     The USDA says farmers expect to make more profit from corn than other commodities.
     Iowa corn acres fell to 14 million from 14.1 million. Nebraska rose to 9.9 million from 9.85 million.
     Record corn acreage is expected in Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and the Dakotas.
     The USDA estimates 76.1 million acres are planted in soybeans. That's up 1 percent from 2011 and the third highest on record.
    






 

   

Friday News, June 29

Motorcylce Accident Near Akron

(Akron) -- Akron Fire and Rescue Department responded to a motorcycle accident yesterday afternoon at about 3:00 p.m.  Little is known about the accident at this time other than it happened at the intersection of Highway 3 and county road K-22. The accident victim was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.

Drowning Victim Identified

(Storm Lake) -- Authorities in Buena Vista County have released the name of the suspected drowning victim at the Little Sioux River near Linn Grove. He is 30 year old Lithavongsay Nouthavykoun of Storm Lake.  Search efforts came up empty yesterday, but the search will continue again today.

Congressman King Disappointed in Supreme Court's Ruling on Health Care

(Washington) -- Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King has long been an opponent of the Affordable Health Care Act calling for its repeal, and  following the U-S Supreme Court decision, King says the responsibility falls on Congress to make certain the controversial plan is abandoned.  King says he is disappointed with the supreme court's decision.  He says the court, through its ruling has perhaps given Congress additional powers through cohersion. 

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King further explains his position.

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The Iowa Congressman predicts the nation's republicans will make the repeal of the health care act as their number one issue. 

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King says today's supreme court decision is the most important decision to come from the land's highest court since the controversial Roe vs. Wade abortion ruling.

Affordable Health Care Act May Benefit Rural Hospitals

(Le Mars) -- The U-S Supreme Court upheld the provisions of the controversial Affordable Health Care Act, sometimes nicknamed Obamacare.  But what does it mean for a rural community hospital like Floyd Valley?  Mike Donlin serves as the Floyd Valley Hospital administrator and he says despite the fact the health care law is split nearly fifty-fifty on those who favor and those who oppose the law, there are a number of provisions that benefit rural hospitals.

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Donlin says he will closely monitor the buracracies and the actions of the governing agencies to see how much "watering down" of the bill may occur, or if they keep the provisions strong between now and when the health care act begins in 2014.  Some people have argued that doctors and other health care officials may be more selective in the patients that they see due to some of the perceived restrictive rules of the Affordable Health Care Act.  Donlin doesn't believe that will happen, at least not in Le Mars and not at Floyd Valley Hospital.
 
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Hospital Systems Combine to One Health Network

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Four major hospital systems in Iowa say they are joining together in a new alliance aimed at improving the quality of care while cutting costs.
     University of Iowa Health Care, Genesis Health System, Mercy Health Network and Mercy-Cedar Rapids announced the alliance during news conferences around the state on Thursday.
     Hospital leaders say the new University of Iowa Health Alliance will include more than 50 hospitals and 160 clinics. The new group will be a venue for sharing costs such as expensive information
technology systems, coordinating patient care and using data to track outcomes and best practices.
     They say the group was planned before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday upholding President Barack Obama's health care law, and came in response to market pressures to cut costs and improve outcomes.

 

Branstad Orders Flags To Fly At Half Staff

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad has ordered flags lowered in Iowa today through Monday to honor a Vietnam War airman whose plane was shot down nearly 50 years ago. Dennis Eilers
of Tipton and his crew were missing in action after their plane went down in 1965, and officials identified the crash site this past April.  A memorial service for Eilers is tomorrow in Tipton.

 

Iowa Public Information Board Selected

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Nine people have been named to Iowa's new Public Information Board. The board will oversee enforcement of Iowa's open meetings and records laws, investigate alleged
violations and take claims to court if necessary. Gov. Terry Branstad's office says the nine he's selected are Robert Andeweg, of Urbandale; Tony Gaugan, of West Des Moines; Jo Martin, of Spirit Lake; Andy McKean, of Anamosa; Gary Mohr, of Bettendorf; Bill Monroe, of Johnston; Kathleen Richardson, of Des Moines; Suzan Stewart, of Sioux City; and Peggy Weitl, of Carroll.  The new board members begin their terms on Sunday.


   

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